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25 May 2013 @ 04:18 pm
this…this is meaningful…  

Author Kristin Kathryn Rusch writes about a major change in book distribution and what it potentially means for writers.

It’s a really long article. It’s really worth reading. The *exceedingly* short take-away of it is that you may soon be seeing copies of NO DOMINION on bookstore shelves near you…

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

ruford42 on May 26th, 2013 01:38 am (UTC)
Very interesting. I found returns odd when I worked in a book store...dang, two decades ago?? Especially since the bulk of what was housed in that store were mass market paperbacks, which had the same return policy as the magazines -- at least with Ingram -- in that the front cover was ripped off and sent back, presumably to avoid the extra expense of shipping a bunch of books no one bought twice.

Sounds like good news for you, though -- and a good step forward for indie authors in general. Although, there still remains the issue of floor space and even knowing about an item to place an order...

Though, combine this with Kobo's working with indie booksellers...
Though, truthfully, I'm skeptical about the long term relationship
here -- Once, Kobo gets the nice shopkeeps to train their customers
to go to the kobo store for ebooks -- what's the business reason for
maintaining the expense of the relationship with the indie paper

There's still the issue of publicity. I realize Kobo is making
this play, in part because of Border collapsing and in part because
their own indepent run on ebooks didn't take a large chunk of
buyers away from Amazon or B&N -- but these are companies that can
either afford to hold boxes of any given title in one of their warehouses or have relationships with the old-style distributors to the point they can receive and deliver any title within a week or so, which means even if they aren't actively promoting it -- they can easily have it available for order on their web site, and even use algorithms to read through the blurps and other metadata to pull it up eventually as a recommendation while listing both the ebook and the print version.

Small book sellers rarely have a web site, much less one that has an e-commerce section that's integrated into their inventory or the ability to file an order...Which I expect still means they're ordering one copy of things they hope will sales, and maybe a handful of the best selling author's publicized releases so they can have them on hand...but short of a publisher/distributor blurb or a customer request -- I'm not imagining they're likely to show up on a shelf for browsers to stumble upon.

It'd be nice to see if any of the distributors start developing an API or more likely, a front-end for booksellers to let customers browse various titles and to submit an order or perhaps a request to order.
kitmizkit on May 26th, 2013 09:31 am (UTC)
Well, it seems to mean that a new CE Murphy book will come up in the system, given that it suggests that the new KKRusch book came up in it automagically. It's still not particularly helpful if you haven't got an established name, perhaps, but it's an interesting change!
ruford42 on May 28th, 2013 08:14 pm (UTC)
Yes, very interesting...Strangely though no book stores are letting me order Shaman Rises or Stonemaster just yet!

For online stores, recommendation systems can be helpful -- though I'm surprised that none of the systems I've dealt with so far let you be alerted when there's a new release for a title either by a given author or a series.

One thing I liked about the days I was able to deal with an independent book store, is they'd hear from the other local people and were able to offer recommendations and they would also review the new releases blurbs from Ingram -- Though, honestly I'd be afraid to try and keeping up with that today given the sheer number of authors who've sold world rights, not to mention the various formats.